Mahashivaratri: Hindu temple in Pakistan truncates three-day festival fearing security threat

Peshawar: The Hindu community in Pakistan's Mansehra district cut short its annual three-day Maha Shivaratri festival by a day mainly due to the prevailing security situation in the restive Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

"We normally celebrate this festival for three days every year, but our elders decided to cut it short," Darshan Lal, a Hindu caretaker of the nearly 1,500 years old Shiv Temple in Mansehra, was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune on Sunday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Members of the Hindu community from across Pakistan gather at the Shiv Temple in Chiti Gati Gandiyan of Mansehra district to celebrate Shivaratri - believed to be the day when Lord Shiva and Parvati got married.

The festival began on Friday amid tight security. Over 700 fasting devotees from as far as Abbottabad, Kohat, Banu, Mardan, Peshawar and Rawalpindi performed puja and traditional rituals such as Ashnan (bathing) of Shiv with milk and honey.

The devotees on Saturday performed the rites of mehendi and Sehra bandi of Shiva. Amid reverberating sounds of bells and chants of religious slogans, devotees circled around the linga, offering their prayers, the paper said.

However, the festivities were cut short a day ahead of schedule as the pundits including Sham Lal, Chaman Lal and Ratan conducted a special puja, it said.

Explaining reasons behind cutting the festival short, Darshan Lal said there's not sufficient space to accommodate all the devotees in the temple and its surrounding village. Secondly, owing to the security situation, the elders had decided to end their celebrations on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday evening, he added.

The "prolonged power outages and the prevailing security situation across the country too had contributed to the pundits’ decision to change the schedule in the larger interest of their community," he added.

All visiting devotees had left under tight security provided by the police who had provided adequate security during the festival, he said.


Updated Date: Feb 26, 2017 17:30 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See